from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A girl or woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable.
  • noun A person regarded as colorless and primly sedate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To be rude to; insult; snub; rebuke.
  • To fabricate or patch up (a tale).
  • To be rude.
  • To go about gossiping.
  • To complain without cause.
  • noun A taunt; a jeer; a flout; a snub.
  • noun A lie.
  • noun A dowdy woman or girl, particularly when also cross or ill-tempered; a hag.
  • noun A gossip.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To insult; to flout; to mock; to snub.
  • noun obsolete A contemptuous speech or piece of conduct; a gibe or flout.
  • noun colloq. A cross, old-fashioned person; esp., an old woman; a gossip.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun colloquial A frumpy person, somebody who is unattractive, drab or dowdy.
  • noun The clothes that such a person would wear.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a dull unattractive unpleasant girl or woman


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Possibly short for Middle English frumple, wrinkle, from Middle Dutch verrompelen, to wrinkle : ver-, completely; see per1 in Indo-European roots + rompelen, to wrinkle.


  • I'll bet Bill Clinton took time out from his usual campaign "frump", picked up his cell phone, and gave Mr. Patterson a "little advice" about his choice of words to the media!!

    Paterson says Clinton frustrated, not desperate

  • But the "frump" will let herself and all her surroundings go to seed, not from humbleness of mind or an overwhelming sense of her own unworthiness, but in pure complacent conceit.

    Worldly Ways and Byways

  • Okay, like everyone else, I too was staggered that such a seemingly trained voice should come out the mouth of a woman who's been dubbed a 'frump'.

    All - Digital Spy - Entertainment and Media News

  • Frizzle haired, doubled-chinned, bad teeth, wearing a dress that screamed 'frump'. - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • Not wanting to continue along that path, I put myself on simple, uncomplicated programs (including what's listed above), which helped me lose the weight, get strong and lean, improve my skin and "fight the frump."

    Barbara Hannah Grufferman: Life After 50: Plastic Surgery on Your Mind? Before You Do That, Do This

  • Just because you remember Ann Taylor as the ultimate purveyor of frump, doesn't mean she still is.

    Style Section L.A.: Ready, Set, Shop: L.A.'s 5 Newest Fashion and Beauty Spots

  • Now I am sure if I was worried about not appearing cool I would have went out of my way not to dress like a frump, or, talk about frumpy type topics, but (a big but) to go in the other direction and engage them on their level would have discredit my authority.

    arrogant and horrible teenage boys « Womanvsfeminist’s Blog

  • Wendi Peters as Jack's mother, opposing his engagement to Whitworth's daughter, blends Nora Batty's frowning frump with Les Dawson's drawn-down lip and the belligerently expanding bosom of an antagonised bullfrog into an instant comic classic.

    The Game

  • Despite his lifelong passion for smart society women, he married an unmitigated frump: Johanna von Puttkamer, who dined at five, dressed unfashionably, and dodged every invitation the Bismarcks received for ­political and social engagements.

    The Shrewdest of the Shrewd

  • That aside, What Not To Wear does dispense useful advice during its half-hour duration, and the transformation of frump-to-flower is authentically heartwarming, more than can be said for anything in It's A Girl Thing (C4, Tue, 8pm), a misguided hybrid of catwalk and sitcom, clearly inspired by Sex And The City, but with fashion dilemmas in place of sexual ones.

    Charlie Brooker's Screen burn: What Not To Wear


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  • "Transparent stockings, stretched to breaking point. Not like that frump today. A. E. Rumpled stockings."

    Joyce, Ulysses, 13

    January 14, 2007